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Earliest Fairview Cemetery burial found among 812 documented

It has been almost three weeks since we began researching newspaper obituaries (July 6) to identify burials in Fairview Cemetery. We have two very significant things to share about the cemetery cleanings and the ongoing research.

First of all, historians pegged the first burials in Fairview Cemetery after the purchase of the tract of property by Joe Wah in 1919 (See deed). We originally discovered the following headstones that pre-date this purchase in April 2014:

  • Georgianna Walker (January 18, 1827-January 3, 1909)

  • Lewis Romans (d. December 3, 1909)

  • Delia Bibbs (d. 1911)

  • Sarah Romans (June 5, 1911)

  • Charity Sullivan (1854-1911)

This week, our Cemetery Maintenance Coordinator, Jim Ravencraft, made a very significant discovery. One of the headstones in the Johnson family plot has no names inscribed. A flower was the only thing visible on the headstone, or so we thought:


Photo by Jom Ravencraft, July 2014

A closer look revealed at least the death date for this unidentified person, June 14th, 1897!


Photo by Jim Ravencraft, July 2014

Who would have thought to check the bottom of the headstone? This revelation brings us great hope that we will be able to document more people buried in Fairview Cemetery prior to 1915.

Over the last three weeks, Jan Edwards has contributed about 500 obituaries from the Index-Journal. This has brought our total documented memorials from 530 to 812 on Find A Grave. Several obituaries further document memorials that already existed and provide rich detail about people who deserve to be heralded for their great accomplishments.

We are hopeful that we will be able to find obituaries prior to 1915. Newspaper notices were required to be published when administrators were named over estates. This is another way to document deaths.

We discovered that it is possible to search specific cemeteries where military headstones were placed for veterans. We did discover a few more veterans using's U.S., Headstone Applications for Military Veterans, 1925-1963.

We have documented the following veterans so far, and they have been added to Find A Grave:

James Nelson Adams

James H. Backus

Emsey C. Boozer

John Griffin

Frank McGhee

John Misher

William Nedwood

Obie Paige

Thomas L . Puckett

Clarence E. Ray

Willie Ray

Bennie Reynolds

Many thanks to the Fairview Project Commitee and community members for your support of this venture. Thank you to the Greenwood County Library for promoting meetings and cleaning dates and other support. Out next cleaning is July 26, 2014 at 8 am.

To learn more about Fairview Cemetery and how to contribute to the project, visit the Fairview Cemetery website.

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